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Prime Minister's Office, Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources, Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Iceland‘s message at COP26: We need to upgrade our pledges

The message from Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir at the UN Climte Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow was clear. We need to do more, since the Paris pledges will not suffice to keep global warming within safe limits.

In her statement at COP26 last week Katrín Jakobsdóttir said that world leaders must heed the call from young people who are pressing for actions.

Your time is the time of the people you know and love, the time that moulds you. And your time is also the time of the people you will know and love. The time that you will shape. Everything you do matters. You create the future every single day,“ Jakobsdóttir said in her statement, quoting Icelandic author Andri Snær Magnason.

Last year, Iceland announced an updated commitment on emissions cuts until 2030, from 40% to 55%, in cooperation with EU and Norway. The previously announced goal of carbon neutrality by 2040 was earlier this year made legally binding. Furthermore Iceland has set a goal of quitting fossil fuel by 2050.

Iceland has also, in accordance with the Paris Agreement, sent it‘s Long-Term Low Emission Development Strategy to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson, Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources, landed in Glasgow yesterday to attend the latter week of COP26. Last week Minister Guðbrandsson gave the opening statement for a meeting on Ocean Acidification, via videolink,  where he iterated that the only way to reduce ocean acidification was to adhere to the Paris Agreement call for carbon reduction.

This week in Glasgow, Minister Guðbrandsson will hold bilateral meetings and take part in a number of side events regarding energy transition and gender equality, political commitment, land use and more.

Iceland supports UNDP‘s Climate Promise

Iceland has committed ISK 150 million over the next three years for the support of UNDP's Climate Promise. This was announced by Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development Cooperation at a side-event to the ongoing COP26.

"Iceland is fully committed to the Paris Agreement. Concrete action is needed to achieve its goals – delaying it is not an option," Guðlaugur Thór Thórdarson said in his statement.

The UNDP's Climate Promise works with 120 countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and meet the challenges of climate change. The aim of the virtual event was to cast light on the progress which has already been made by UNDP and partners in this field. The next phase of Climate Promise was also announced at the event, which is to scale up the support for developing countries and to turn their NDC (Nationally Determined Contributions) targets into concrete action.

"Iceland is also fully committed to support global climate action and to increasing our contribution to climate-related development cooperation. Joining the Climate Promise is a key element of this commitment, and we look forward to working with UNDP and other partners to help drive NDC implementation around the world," Guðlaugur Thór Thórdarson furthermore said.

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